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the vatican today as tens of thousands crowded st. peter's square for one of pope benedict xvi final public appearances. the pope will set step down 11 days from now, setting in motion the search for a new leader and maybe a new direction for the catholic church. nbc's anne thompson is at the vatican tonight with more. anne? >> reporter: good evening, lester. tonight, the pope is on a week-long lenten retreat inside the vatican with the days of his papacy numbered. now, every public appearance of benedict's is a must-see event. for more than 50,000 people, this was the only place to be, a global villageful the faithful and curious in st. peter's square to say thank you and good-bye to pope benedict xvi. >> as soon as he resigned, i knew i definitely wanted to come and witness it. >> reporter: 20-year-old thaddius howard of georgia brought an american flag. >> i wanted to let the pope know that he is supported by all of us from america. >> reporter: in six different languages, benedict addressed the crowd. >> thank you for the prayers and support you have shown me. >> reporter:? german, he s
really surprised. >> reporter: pope benedict had been looking frail recently, using a moveable platform during services, so he wouldn't have to walk. relying on a cane. the pope wants more rest, said his 89-year-old brother in germany. he said his brother has been thinking about stepping down for months. and had been advised by his doctors not to take anymore long, international flights, such as a planned trip to brazil in july. the pope's decision is unprecedented in modern times. the last similar case was pope celestine v, who had praise for pope benedict today. >> he has given church the last great service he will give the church. he's stepping off the stage when he feels he can't exercise the office of peter. >> reporter: benedict seemed to many a reluctant pope, as cardinal ratzinger under john paul ii, he was known as a conservative guardian of church doctrine, opposing women priests, abortion and homosexuality. as pope, he inherited the church's biggest scandal in decades. revelations that priests had sexually abused children. he met with victims and apologized. >> for all, i exp
, and there is no road map for what's happening right now. pope benedict is abdicating. he said his farewell today. he flies off tomorrow, and then the gathering starts to pick his replacement. nbc's anne thompson was at the vatican for all of it today. anne, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. you know, in his final days, pope benedict has shown the world he has the ability to surprise. first in his decision to abdicate. and then today in his last public speech, revealing the personal toll leading the catholic church has taken on him. they came to witness history. >> i think this is something we're going to be able to look back at and tell our grandkids we were there. >> reporter: to say thank you. >> for all of us, he has been a really amazing teacher. >> reporter: and applaud the first pope in 700 years to voluntarily step down. >> i'm sure that he's really a very intelligent man, that he cares more about the church than about his role in the church. >> reporter: respect and affection is benedict's trouble pontificate comes to an end. >> i continue to accompany the church with my prayer
the vatican that pope benedict xvi will re-sign at the end of the month? the pope says he no longer has the strength to carry out 0 the job. joe rosato jr. spoke to san francisco's controversial archbishop who knows the pope well. >> reporter: shortly before pope benedict was archbishop of san francisco salvator met with the pope. >> he was mentally alert and engaged in conversation, but he seemed to be fiphysically hurti. >> reporter: still, he never expected to hear the history making news pope benedict was stepping down. >> i was just as shocked as anyone else. i hadn't heard raw morse rumors speculation. >> reporter: he watched popes live longer and the stresses of the job grow harder. >> there are greater demands placed on the pope now and going forward living for a longer time. it's a different dynamic now. >> reporter: he says pope benedict's tenure was especially stressful with the church embroiled in the sex abuse crisis, and though the church's critics will likely disagree, he believes pope benedict will be remembered for his courage to address it. >> he was one of the leading
the final brief appearance there. and the final end to the benedict papacy comes four hours from now when the doors of gandolfo close and they leave. let's go down to keir simmons covering it all for us. kear, good morning to you. >> reporter: hey, savannah, good morning, the saints looking down on the square have not seen a day like this in medieval times. in the papal palace, over my shoulder here, the pope, as you say, has been meeting were his cardinals, tells them, i'll be with you in prayer. dawn across rome. this city has seen more than 260 pontiffs, only two popes passed in the last thousand years have left like this. the cardinals, princes of the church, gathered this morning for a warm farewell to pope benedict. some cardinals wants to speak to him for as long as possible. pope benedict will resign just after sunset. this home, this beautiful summer palace, quiet after a frantzic few weeks. >> at 8:00 exactly, he will stop being pope, the swiss guards who stand guard outside the palace and he'll go. >> reporter: rough seas he admitted yesterday and now the task begins of choosin
because pope benedict is german. they are moved by the news and chancellor angela merkel will react later. reaction just starting to come in as people hear this breaking news. >> we'll have more on the pope's resignation later on. parts of the gulf coast are waking up to untold damage after a wave of severe storms raked across the region sunday night. the brunt of the storms hit in and around hattiesburg, mississippi, where a long-track tornado ripped across part of the state. the twister traveled down one of the main streets, winding through the university of southern mississippi campus. the governor declared a state of emergency in seven counties reporting damage including downed trees, mangled buildings, and injuries to more than a dozen people. fortunately no deaths have been reported. >>> nbc meteorologist bill karins will have the details on the threat of more severe weather and potential flash floods coming up in a few minutes. >>> residents in southern california remain on edge this morning. day five in the manhunt for a former lapd officer suspected in three cold-blooded killings
. a shocking announcement from pope benedict xvi, he said that he no longer has the mental or physical exasperatity to go on. he will leave post at the end of the month. we have reaction from local cathol catholics. >> hi, we talked to a lot of people about the reaction and it's safe to say, there's a different reaction from older and younger catholics. regardless of whether or not they say the pope's resignation will have an impact on your faith, they are watching for a successor. at this morning's mass in san jose, the faith parade for the pope as they always had knowing that soon that means praying for someone different. >> we still have the faith and so we keep going. that's the main thing. >> i'm disappointed, because in my lifetime, every pope has followed the natural path. >> i cannot understand that the pope would retire. we never had that before. . >> it's said that he left an impression in his eight years. >> he was the teacher, as i said, about john paul, they came to see him. and benedict they came to hear him. he stepped aside when he felt he could no longer lead. >> i hav
the world are still stunned this morning by pope benedict's surprise announcement he's giving up the pa papacy. a papal abdication has not happened in six centuries. it's creating shock waves even from the sky. "the guardian" newspaper showing lightning hitting st. peter's basilica. chris jansing is in rome this morning. good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, richard. there's a lot of speculation here about what that lightning strike means. i can't give you any inside information but the other big speculation, of course, is who will succeed pope benedict. this is something we have not seen since the middle ages. how do you choose a pope when there's one still living? there's a very different church than we saw even eight years ago, and certainly three decades ago when john paul ii was elected. this is a church that is very heavily in latin america. about 42% of catholics are in latin america now. they're growing as well in africa. only 25% in europe, but more than half of the cardinals who will come here to vatican city and who will announce a new pope are from europe. so, here
catholics around the world are still adjusting to the knowledge to the announcement pope benedict will be stepping down and new leadership will follow. and today the man who says he lacks the strength to go on as leader of the church led his final public mass as pope. nbc's anne thompson with us tonight from the vatican. anne, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. today we finally saw the man who is causing all the commotion here. in two public appearances, pope benedict looked every one of his 85 years, but his voice and his resolve are strong. ♪ pope benedict led a packed st. peter's basilica in a moving ash wednesday mass. reminding the faithful, they are made from dust and to dust they shall return. a message of humility, answered by an unusual demonstration of affection. a spontaneous, prolonged standing ovation for the retiring pontiff, at his final public mass. a sea of cell phones capturing the exit of a man praised today as a simple and humble worker. >> i have tears in my eyes. it's just so amazing to be here. >> reporter: the pope's weekly audience turned in
>>> right now at 5:00, tens of thousands have gathered at the vatican to see one of pope benedict's last public appear ens before he steps down. we'll have bay area reaction as well. >>> also san francisco police are asking for the public's help in finding this man who is suspected in a couple of mission district attacks. >>> and a historic day in racing as danica patrick breaks down a longstanding barrier. we'll show you, next. >>> nbc bay area news starts now. >>> good evening. i'm diane dwyer. >> i'm terry mcsweeney. less than two weeks before pope benedict steps down, a massive crowd gathered to hear what could be one of his last public prayers. 50,000 people came to st. peter's square, doubled last week's crowd. >> reporter: in rome where there is no shortage of must-see attractions, suddenly elderly pope benedict is number one on everyone's list. today he delivered his weekly prayer from his balcony just as he has for nearly eight years, but this crowd was worthy of a rock star. iz exit from his last public mass on ash wednesday turned churchgoers into paparazzi. the hottest ticket
, brian. >>> overseas now. six days from now pope benedict will step down. then it will be time for the cardinals to elect a new pope, and some american cardinals who will be heading to the conclave suddenly find themselves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. nbc's anne thompson with us tonight, once again from the vatican with this story. anne, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. as pope benedict finishes his lenten retreat, the vatican is preparing for this historic transition. with many questions, such as who will lead the church, far from answered. a week before pope benedict retires, and there is still no clear front-runner to succeed him. however, there is a long shot. new york's cardinal timothy dolan. >> i'll do anything to get you guys in church. >> reporter: praised in catholic circles for his persona. his efforts to revitalize the church and fighting the obama administration's contraception coverage mandate. but this week, dolan was deposed about how he dealt with abusive priests as archbishop of milwaukee. what impact is this going to have on card
. >>> this was a bittersweet day at the vatican as pope benedict xvi made his final sunday appearance as the church faced new allegations of wrongdoing. nbc's anne thompson is at the vatican for us again tonight. anne, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. today's events, you can see both the strengths and weaknesses of the catholic church, the exuberant energy and faith in the massive crowd gathered here, and the new charges of abuse that continue to haunt this institution. today, the world came to st. peter's square for pope benedict's final sunday blessing. part pep rally. part prayer service. just being in the crowd of 1,000 was a learning experience for these american students. >> that the faith has no national boundaries and political interests. >> reporter: the object of their affection and gratitude, the 85-year-old pontiff. he told the crowd he is not abandoning the church but answering god's call to more prayer and meditation, more appropriate for his age and strength. yet even in this joyful square, the scandals that marked his papacy were on the minds of some. >> i think he has done an
learn today that the outgoing pope benedict will be called -- what he will be called after he is pope and what life will be like for him, because afr all, remember, an abdicating pope is all new territory for the catholic church. nbc's anne thompson remains at the vatican for us tonight. anne, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. they are already closing off the streets around st. peter's square in anticipation of the huge crowds for pope benedict's final audience tomorrow. the cardinals who will elect his successor have started to arrive, including controversial american cardinal roger mahoney, who is here despite calls for him to stay home because of his role in shielding sexually abusive priests in los angeles. these final days for benedict have been very difficult. he's seen a cardinal forced to resign, intense speculation over an internal investigation into leaked documents. but today the news was all about his new life. in retirement, he will be called pope emeritus. he will still wear white, just a simple cap and not the cape we're used to seeing. his red shoes will
more progressive than benedict. >> i think that it's good he decided to resign if he feels like hs aging enough that he can't be in control of the p church and divisions and put someone in significantly younger and have more of a heartbeat of the younger generation and what might matter to them move forward. >> among the candidates, one from the philippines recently said the church should listen more and admit its mistakes. it's unlikely the new pope will be from the united states. >>> beautiful day for a trip to the beach. it's still february. this is what it's going to look like tomorrow. it's not going to look this way in the early part of the workweek. >>> meteorologist is tracking a major change coming up in the forecast. >> i don't think it's going to include many beach days. forecast today, cooler than saturday's 70-degree high temperatures. santa cruz, a lot of sunshine. 57 in fremont. here is what lies ahead in the forecast. cold trough of low pressure dropping in on us. right around this time tomorrow night. clouds are filling in. we'll see rain and we'll see wind. that's
breaking news out of the vatican where it was announced moments ago that pope benedict xvi will resign, he will resign effective february 28 of this year. nbc's bureau chief located in rome joins us on the phone. what can you it tell us? >> reporter: good morning, matt. yes, it came as a shock, of course, for all of us and are for the billions of catholics around the world. i mean, i just got confirmation of that news from the senior adviser who said that he made that speech, the pope made the speech in latin this morning, during a relatively small event, for the cannonization in the reswrr region of the south. he said he just doesn't have the strength anymore. this came as a shock because the pope has a right to resign. nobody has before him he especiy that it comes off john paul ii a man who at 85 wasn't even able to walk and neither speak really, was mumbling towards the end of his life. and pope benedict saying i just don't have it anymore. i don't have the strength anymore to bear my mission to carry on the catholic church. >> claudio, is there concern or is there some speculation tha
pope benedict xvi. today's blessing comes as the vatican considers moving up the date to find his replacement. we're live in st. peter's square. >>> and the drama surrounding former senator chuck hagel, the president's choice for defense secretary. his nomination in limbo, were even though many suspect he will eventually be confirmed. why are they making this process so difficult? we'll talk to david gregory and get analysis 06 that. >>> plus, have you ever wondered what it's like to train as a g man? >> i have wondered 245. >> well, you're sitting next to the right guy. i was in quantico, virginia. they deal with a car stop, hand-to-hand combat. and what we learned about fighting crime and you were brushing up on your car knowledge. >> i was. i was doing a little bit of that. we hear women don't know what much about cars. we get a bad rap. one woman who knows a lot about cars wants to change that perception. i spent a day changing oil. as part of a unique class designed for women by a woman. its goal is to make both our cars and the repair shop a little less intimidating. >> i wo
benedict xvi announced he's stepping down, vatican officials have now set a timetable for when the next pope will be appointed. >>> good morning to you from scottsdale. the spring training home of the world champion san francisco giants. coming up, we will have some old friends and some new friends. one's a furry friend. we'll show you in just a bit. >>> new this morning, america's most wanted fugitive and now, the search for a former police officer turned shooting rampage suspect is spreading south so mexico and investigators say they believe he may have had some help getting there. court papers say an accomplice identified by the initials j.y. may have helped dorner cross the border, but federal authorities telling the time to mexico is just one of the places dorner could be hiding, stressing dorner could be anywhere at this point. at a news conference this morning, police say they're now pursuing more than 1,000 leads. >> it is frustrating and we're hopeful that something will break loose from the public and that these leads will result in something very positive in terms of bringing
. lester? >> michelle, thanks. >>> tomorrow at the vatican, pope benedict xvi will offer a final public blessing before he retires next thursday. as cardinals gather for the election of a new pope, the vatican today was sharply critical of a wave of reports in the italian media. nbc's anne thompson is at the vatican. good evening to you. >> reporter: good evening, lester. it was an unusually strong rebuke from the vatican for going after the media for running false news reports, they claim, to influence the election of the next pope. now, this pushback came after several unsourced stories in an italian newspaper this week claim pope benedict decided to resign after receiving a secret report in december outlining corruption and misconduct inside the vatican. church officials here denied that story and today the vatican secretary of state issued a statement saying, it is deplorable that there are unverified, unverifiable, and completely false news stories that harm persons or institutions. now, while all this was going on, pope benedict after his week-long lenten retreat was getting back
benedict. instead the world is seeing the darker side of the church, the in-fighting and scandals that today claimed britain's highest-ranking catholic. for scotland's cardinal o'brien, the end came with astonishing swiftness. today o'brien resigned and said he will not attend the conclave to elect a new pope. the first cardinal in history to stay away, because of a personal scandal. sunday, a british newspaper published accusations by three priests and a former priest that o'brien engaged in inappropriate behavior with them, going back to the 1980s. >> holy father accepted the resignation -- >> reporter: 24 hours later, pope benedict accepted o'brien's resignation as archbishop of saint andrews and edinborough. >> quite upsetting. >> the catholic church is in quite a bit of turmoil. >> reporter: o'brien denied the claims and said in a statement today, for any failures, i apologize to all whom i've offended. >> the one who handed me over to you -- >> reporter: just last week, o'brien spoke out about the american cardinal, mahoney under pressure to sit out the conclave because he s
. to offset the cost, they are considering charging a small fee to walk across the bridge. >> pope benedict xvi is marking final hours as the leader of the catholic church. this is live pictures from the vatican where it is thursday morning. crowds are gathering to be part of this historic time. he reassured he is retiring, but not abandoning them. >> in just a few hours, pope benedict xvi will meet with cardinals who will choose his successor. there appears to be no front runner to replace him. >> ooze as painful as anything can possibly be. i could never imagine. >> their lives have never been the same. only on nbc bay area, the families of victims killed in a mass shooting revealed new information they say could have stopped a gunman. >> a unique school and nothing you can do to get suspended or expelled. the different way this school is treating students. >> a firefighter is accused of threatening coworkers and stealing from his department. what he is facing. >>> storming into an employee meeting in october of 2011 and opening fire, killing three coworkers and wounding others. now widow
'll go and at 8:00 p.m. eastern he'll no longer be pope benedict xvi but rather pope benedict amara. >> the world is eagerly waiting to see who will replace him. do we know more of when the conclave will start? >> reporter: we don't at this point, mara. we do know the general meetings among the cardinals, the cardinals over the age of 80 don't get to vote for the new pope and the cardinal electors begin on monday. sometime between monday and tuesday we'll get a definite start date for the conclave. >> ann thompson live at the vatican. thank you for that. when the pope leaves later today, he'll be heading to castel gandolfo. claudio is joining us live from there this morning, good morning. >> reporter: good morning. the pope is expected to arrive here in four hours and people are starting to gatter in the main square to bid him one last farewell. among the first to arrive here in the square is a group of american students from a catholic university from ohio. i'm joined here by one of them. student mike -- stacen. were you surprised when the pope announced his resignation? >> i was.
: -- he, too, was taken aback by the news that pope benedict would be stepping down february 28th for health reasons. >> we we saw him in rome in october, we realized how frail he's becoming. i think it's a courageous act on his part. >> reporter: the 85-year-old pope had been considering resigning for several months because he's tired, having trouble walking and had recently been advised by his doctor not to embark on any more trans-atlantic flights. the pontiff released a statement that reads in part, quote, after having repeatedly examined my conscience before god, i have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the petrine ministry. >> i'm very disappointed because, in my lifetime, every pope has followed the natural path of dying and then electing a new pope. >> that's kind of sad that he has to go, but you know, at least he realizes that he can't continue. >> most of the news people were saying, well, he's a rottweiler pope, well, no, he wasn't. he was a pope who spoke on love. and he has a strong legacy
. peter's square where tens of thousands said good-bye to pope benedict xvi. >>> plus the warriors literally throw down in indiana. we'll break it down for you and bring you the blow by blow coming up. >>> according to multiple sources, the deal for alex smith is done. we'll let you know where the qb is headed and what the niners will get in return. >>> new development to tell you about in the oscar pistorius premeditated murder case. officials say the substance found in the olympians bedroom was not testosterone. representatives for pistorius say it's been identified as an herbal remedy used, quote, in aid of muscle recovery. during pistorius' bail hearing, south african said they found needles and testosterone this his bedroom. after the shooting death of his girlfriend, model reeva steenkamp. pistorius was released on bond friday. his next court date is scheduled coming up in june. >>> new this morning, pope benedict xvi thanked his followers for their prayers at his last public appearance before stepping down tomorrow. the crowd estimated at more than 150,000 strong. maryann ah
for their friendship. from this point on, benedict will be known as pope emeritus continuing to wear white but without red shoes and he will have no official duties. father joseph benedict of the st. joseph's cathedral says his job during this transitional time is to help parishioners maintain the stability of their faith. >> inviting people to recognize that even in times of change and of turmoil, we remain steadfast in faith and that we can deal with these transitions and indeed all challenges of life within our faith and within our sense that god remains with us. >> it will definite ly take administrative part of the church. but in terms of believing in the lord, it doesn't change that. >> reporter: father benedict hopes that catholics consider this to be an experience in which to feel the continuity of the church and faith. there will be a special mass at 7:00 tonight here at st. joseph cathedral and it will include san jose bishop patrick mcgrath. they'll be celebrating the pope's retirement and praying for a smooth transition. we're live in san jose. i'm arturo santiago, nbc bay area news. >>> p
on march 26th. >>> it was an emotional farewell from pope benedict xvi as thousands of people gathered at vatican city. tomorrow he will step down leaving the roman catholic church and its 1 billion worldwide follow eers without a pope. marianne joins us from the vatican. marianne? >> reporter: raj, pope benedict xvi spoke of the burdens of his office as well as the joy. st. peters square alive with excitement as the first pope in six centuries chooses to resign revealing at 85 years old he no longer has the stamina to leave the roman catholic church. >> i will continue to accompany the church with my prayers and ask each of you to pray for me and for the new hope. >> reporter: those who will choose his successor found his final words especially moving. >> it was such a beautiful moment to see the holy father give his whole life and service to the church. >> reporter: benedict noted the difficult times of his pa pacy thanking the faithful for understanding his decision to step down for the good of the church. >> so it's a kind of a death to a certain office and moving on, and he got a
benedict's announcement that he will resign at the end of this month. we'll hear from catholic leaders and get valuable insight about picking the next pontiff. kimberly? >> reporter: local catholic church leaders say the position is physically and mentally demanding. the pope is expected to travel and make many more public appearances. and it's likely these factors will be considered when choosing the successor. the archbishops of san francisco and oakland have both spent time with the pope within the last year. >> he was certainly very mentally alert and inquisitive and engaging in conversation. but he seemed to be physically baring the burdens of the office. >> reporter: february 28th will be his final day as head of the catholic church. the cardinals of the world will meet in rome to choose a new pontiff. >> the holy father himself, pope benedict, will not take part in the conclave. he will have neither voice nor vote. >> there's 118 cardinals under age 80 who are eligible to vote. those over 80 years old will be there, but only as part of the preparatory session to discuss a possib
on january 19th and also included the super bowl a week ago. >> pope benedict celebrated ash wednesday at the vatican. >> reporter: pope benedict xvi made his first public appearance since his announcement he's going abdicate at the end of february. he made that appearance during a general audience with thousands of people greeting him and chanting his name. he said thank you very much everybody for your prayers and thoughts and explained he thought long and hard about his decision and he said that he thinks that decision to abdicate is good for the church. on wednesday he'll preside over a mass for ash wednesday. on the 27th of february, the day before he abdicates he'll hold a general audience in st. peter's square where thousands of the faithful are expected to come in and gather to say their last good-byes to a pope that will retire. back to you. >>> in rome for us. bill karins joins us with weather. a lot to talk about in >> not so much. the west is quiet. so in connecticut we had all the snow. the mayor of waterbury asked them to show up. paid them minimum wage. how many do you t
a turbulent half decade of bankruptcies and consolidation for the u.s. airline industry. >>> pope benedict has two weeks left as head of the church. the pontiff celebrated his final mass at the vatican. benedict was given a long-standing ovation as he prepares to step down on february 28th. after almost eight years as leader of more than 1.2 billion catholics worldwide. >>> it is valentine's day and we always think of our meteorologist, bill karins. we always want good weather. >> i thought you meant with love. >> of course we love you, bill. >> good morning, everyone. as we start this valentine's day, grab the umbrella heading into the northwest. especially from olympia to bellingham. as the rain comes at us from the north and northwest, this is associated with the warm front lingering along the coast trying to move in. damp weather for the morning commute. if you are driving down i-5 today, tomorrow looks better. we are seeing a clearing trend. we have had high pressure off the west coast that's been very strong. now the high pressure ridge back here over areas of salt lake city will strengt
. >> reporter: currently the conclave to choose the successor to benedict xvi is scheduled to begin between march 15 and march 20 but there's talk that day could be moved up because the cardinals who will vote on his successor are all scheduled to be here to say good-bye to the pope on february 28th. i'm anne thompson in rome. >>> one of those with a vote is roger mahoney, the former bishop of los angeles. he's expected in court. he's facing a deposition of accusations he maneuvered behind the scenes to protect accused priests and to protect the church. despite those accusations and being removed as archbishop in l.a. he still remains a cardinal in the church and that qualifies him to cast a vote in selecting the next pope. critics are calling on mahoney to remove himself from voting. but cardinal law faced the same and still cast a vote in the election of pope benedict. >> varying opinions on who should be the next pope. the new leader will be in place in two weeks. today in downtown san jose many said they're sad to see the pope step down. they praise him for the work he's done but unders
's square today. that is double the number of people who attended just last week. pope benedict's final audience scheduled for a week from wednesday. 35,000 people have already requested tickets to that. he plans to go in retirement in vatican city. >>> here in the bay area, there are varying opinions on who should be the next pope. today in downtown san jose, some suggested the next pope should be a woman or minority. well, a woman is off the table. but any baptized catholic male can be the pope. everyone we spoke to today agreed the next pope should be someone more progressive than benedict. >> i think that it's good that he decided to resign if he feels he's aging enough that he can't be in control of the church and decisions. perhaps it's time to put someone in significantly younger and has more of a heart beat on what would matter moving forward. >> the next leader is expected to be in place in a couple of weeks. >>> hundreds of people gathered today to mark a time in u.s. history they hope will ner be repeated. the annual day of remembrance marked the signing of the executive orde
st. peter's square to hear pope benedict's last sunday mass. crews preparing for the large crowd. 2,000 security cameras have been installed throughout rome, many focused on the vatican. civil defense volunteers, police officers and paramedics will be stationed in st. peter's square and streets leading to the vatican. pope benedict plans to retire on thursday and most of the church cardinals will gather to choose the next pope. this is the first time in 600 years that a pope has resigned from the position. >>> with less than a week left, lawmakers on capitol hill are expressing pessimism toward the sequester. governors are calling on elected leader to avoid across the board cuts that could hurt the economy. if congress can't find middle grounds, the first things to slash are military and defense budgets. it is not looking good. >>> a day away from the night of the oscars. >> technicians and crews spent the day preparing for the awards show. the red carpet in place in front of the dolby theater, full sized statuettes are standing guard. they will be hosted by seth macfarlane and dani
the final blessing of pope benedict. the 100,000 people on hand got the blessing and heard the hope give more reasons. he told the crowd that god told thime live a life of more prayer and medication. the 85-year-old pontiff said god asked him to live his life with the same dedication but in a way more appropriate for his age and strength. >> gratitude, expression and prayer. >> very happy to hear that he is not going away from this and that he is going to be in prayer. i was moved to hear those words from him. >> i was very grateful y. have seen the pope before. now i am grateful to see the pope for the last time for now. >> reporter: this very joyous event played out against background of news scandal. headlines about priests accusing scottish cardinals of inappropriate behavior going back some 30 years. those priests and the former priests want cardinal o'brien to resign immediately before he comes here to vote for the new pope. a papal spokesperson says the pope will be informed about the matter and the vatican will issue a statement tomorrow morning. >>> pope benedict will make his l
's business outlook plus controversy over why pope benedict xvi is stepping down and why afghanistan's order to remove special forces surprised washington. "early today" is back in two minutes. here are some stories we're watching. gas prices continue to soar. it jumped 20 cents in the past two weeks. that's a nearly 54-cent jump in just the last nine weeks. prices will not don't rise at this pace and a bloomberg survey suggests oil prices will drop through march 1st. >>> afghan president karzai shocked pentagon officials as he ordered all u.s. special op forces to leave a key battleground province and taliban stronghold in two weeks. u.s. military officials strongly deny u.s. commandos condoned or were involved in any kidnapping, torture, or murders of afghan civilians or suspects. >>> another ripple in the oscar pistorius story. he isn't the only one in his family accused of killing someone. an attorney for pistorius family confirmed his older brother, carl, is charged with culpable homicide, the equivalent of negligent homicide, after allegedly striking and killing a female motorcyclist w
benedict xvi, he has allowed the conclave to come together earlier than normal. they want to install the new pope before the holy week begins. that gives them to march 17th to complete the process and the process is complex. especially with the scandals surrounding the catholic church. today, one of the cardinals that will help select the new pope spoke in the bay area. >> a man of prayer, a man of faith. retired archbishop preparing to go to rome to choose the next pope. as he focuses on the need to the church, there are those that feel he should have a stronger stand against pedophile priests and those that protect them. >> the church needs to act in a responsible way. like any institution. just because of religion, just because they are a church, does not make them immune from reporting child abuse. >> tim lennon of snap survivors network said he was abused and raped by a priest when he was 13. he does not want father mahoney to be in the process to choose the new pope. >> for them, a sitting cardinal or a cardinal who is recently been asked to step out of any kind of public minis
with priests back to the 1980 says. the vatican says pope benedict accepts the retirement because he was near the retirement age of 75, not because of these accusations. >>> today marks the one-year anniversary of 17-year-old trayvon martin. this evening a candlelight vigil will be held in sanford, florida, while a million hoodichltd e gathering is scheduled in new york city. he was shot and killed by george zimmerman, who has pleaded not guilty and claiming self-defense. his trial is set to start this june. >>> in california, the search continues this morning for four people whose 29-foot sailboat disappeared off the coast of monterey sunday. the coast guard released a distress call believed to be made by a man who was with his wife, son and a young cousin before they abandoned the sinking vessel. >> coast guard, coast guard, we are abandoning ship. we are abandoning ship. >> the bodiers said their electronics were failing and fashioning a make-shift raft. officials hope the call will lead to new information that can aid in the search. now dylan with the forecast. >> you saw the radar and th
here. they asked us what is going on. nobody really got the news. when they told them pope benedict xvi was redesignisignry didn't know. actually, he can, but obviously, no pope has done that for 700 years. so no wonder people are aware of that. for now on that may change the course of the catholic church in the future as well as pope benedict xvi is setting an example. if you don't have the strength to carry on let someone younger and more strength to carry on the mission. >> it certainly is a monument ool announcement. claudio, thank you very much. >>> this morning we spoke with greg burke the senior communication adviser to the holy see in rome. we began by asking him how much of a surprise this was? >> it is a surprise. i people think had fair warning. it was a few years ago in a book called "light of the world," a long interview with a german journalist. the journalist asked the pope if he would resign. and he said something interesting. in the midst of a candle and all that stuff. he said now is not the time. it's not the time to run when you're in great risk and emergency period.
people. pope benedict xvi, the first pope they've known and the old who know how his story is. gathering to hear the last testament. and looking on the cardinal, one of these men could soon be pope, the first from pope benedict, a prayer. a final message to his follower followers. >> ask each of you to pray for me and for the new pope i impart my blessing. thank you. [ applause ] >> reporter: this frail man choosing a quieter life. so very different from his predecessor john paul who stayed until the very end. anthony from pennsylvania witnessed both pope's last sermons. >> they're courage in different ways. in opposite ways but the same degree of courage. >> reporter: the pope summoning the strength to say good-bye, giving up one of the most powerful roles on earth. meeting publicly with the faithful one last time. >> savannah as the pope got up to leave. there was a wave of emotion. people calling out to him, waving good-bye. many people held up banners saying thank you in return. pope benedict told the faithful i have never felt this way. >> thank you. greg burke is the senior communi
new information tonight about pope benedict's decision to step down and what is ahead of the the 85-year-old pontiff. still no official reason for the pope's sudden retirement, but they do believe his health and age were a concern, citing the fact that he felt he could no longer continue his duties. the vatican, however, says the decision was made about a year ago before a recent surgery. pope benedict's resignation has several bishops around the world wondering if there is a precedent being set allowing future popes to follow suit. the pontiff's future plans include living at a monaçtery inside the vatican. now, tomorrow he'll preside over an ash wednesday mass. a large crowd is expected as it will be his last public mass. >>> it is a sensitive and polarizing debate on many college campuses. the price of competing in big-time athletics hurting the academic bottom line? a growing number of critics say yes, and they point to uc berkeley as the example. nbc bay area stephen stock teamed up with the investigative reporting program at cal in search of answers. stephen, what did you fin
for the end of march. >>> in his final days leading the catholic church pope benedict changing the rules on how a new pope is elected. card nals will now be allowed to start that process prior to the usual 15-day transition period. also today britain's highest ranking catholic leader stepping down in the wake of misconduct allegations and will not be part of the upcoming election. anne thompson has more from the vatican. >> reporter: even in his final days as pope, scandal continue to dog his papacy and the church. headlines of blackmail and conspiracy that the vatican vehement denies. american cardinal roger mahoney has so far ignored calls to stay home from the conclave to choose the next pope because of his conduct about abusive priests. >> if someone has erred in some way or another it doesn't stop their judgment in other matters. >> reporter: today cardinal o'brien resigned after being accused by three priests and a former priest of inappropriate behavior going back to the 1980s. ugly headlines that one vatican watcher says will shake the deliberations of the conclave. >> some of th
is going to live there? the answer is that is where pope benedict is going to make his retirement home. tomorrow, the pope will hold his weekly audience, and then later in the day, he will preside over ash wednesday mass, marking the beginning of lent. that mass was supposed to be held in a small church in rome. it's been move here to st. peter's basilica to accommodate the thousands who are expected to attend what could well be the pope's last public mass. brian? >> all those pieces and clues now apparent. it will be an interesting 16 days ahead. anne thompson in vatican city, thanks. >>> still ahead as we continue on a busy tuesday night, the cruise ship nightmare in the gulf of mexico. an increasingly ugly scene on board. five working toilets, 3,000 people. that's just the start of it. >>> we are back now with some of the horror stories we are hearing, the stories emerging about some of the 4200 passengers and crew on board the carnival cruise ship "triumph." it all started when the ship caught fire, lost power sunday night, setting off an awful chain of events on board, including s
, new york. >>> the vatican revealed today pope benedict fell and cut his head while on a trip to mexico last year. a vatican spokesman insists, the fall had no impact on his overall, larger decision to abdicate. but it is the second time in three days we have learned of a preexisting health issue with the 85-year-old pope who on tuesday let it be known he has a pacemaker. he had just had a procedure performed to have the battery changed two months ago. >>> still ahead, as we continue on this thursday night, a close encounter, the likes of which we here on earth have never seen before. it's now just hours away. >>> and later on this valentine's day, what's the secret to a long and happy marriage? some surprising answers tonight from folks who know a thing or two about that. >>> suppose you to try wearing a helmet tonight, but little any of us can do about it. the planet earth is preparing, nonetheless, for the closest encounter we have had in a long while with a foreign object, a giant astroid that is going to pass very close to our planet. nbc's kristen dahlgren reports on this close en
. >>> pope benedict's decision to step down came as a surprise to many people. but it wasn't the only thing the pontiff kept under wraps. the pope injured himself during a visit to mexico last year. think also say he has a pace maker. and three months ago, he underwent an option to replace the battery. and a monastery on the vatican has been remodeled. >>> there's new hope for thousands of americans with a specific form of vision loss. the fda has approved the first-ever artificial eye fitted on a pair of glasses. the bionic eye, is approved for people with retinitis pigme pigmentosa. allows to see safely to navigate a room and perform other tasks. >>> it's not mom and dad's medicine cabinet anymore. teens are scoring prescription drugs like vicodin and xanax the old-fashioned way. pill mills are popping up with alarming frequency and with deadly consequences. >> just a sweet boy. >> reporter: he was just 21. >> it's so hard. >> reporter: when joey rivero visited an orange county doctor and walked out with prescriptions for painkillers. >> nine days later, joey was dead. >> reporter: it was
militants against the minority shiite community. >>> as pope benedict prepares to say farewell at the end of the month, there is talk of yet another break from church tradition. the church usually observes a 15 to 20-day waiting period following a papal vacancy to give cardinals time to travel to rome, but church officials now say the process could be moved up possibly in time for a new pope to be chosen before holy week begins on march 24th. >>> back home, the flu epidemic that has been ravaging much of this country's finally showing some signs of letting up, but experts warn it is far from over. the cdc's latest report says, while the number of patients admitted for flu-like symptoms has been leveling out, the elderly are still being hit hard. >>> when "nbc nightly news" continues on this saturday why more and more women are deciding they need to be armed. we'll meet some of them as we continue our special series on guns in america. >>> and later, a different prescription for healing. take a little music from these guys and call me in the morning. >>> consider this. yesterday in just 90
to prop 8 which will be heard on march 26th. >>> also at 11:00, insight why pope benedict is stepping down. he made the decision after the internal investigation into the scandal at the vatican. among the things exposed in the 300-page report is blackmail and sex scandals at the vatican. the pope plans to hand over the report to the successor. >>> theless lesist is growing. 32-year-old katrina fritz was arraigned on murder and robbery charges today. detectives claim she is a prostitute who frequently was hired by the victim. ravi kumra was killed last november. fritz's brother is one of the three men charged in the case. another suspected prostitute, raven dixon is also charged. >>> police in pleasant hill began investigating 37-year-old jason pedrosia of having sex with underage girls. police say it happened at the lesher center for the arts. he was fired in november. he also worked at a ballet school. >>> she is back in the headlines and back in hot water. tonight, the woman at the center of the wendy's chili finger case is in trouble with the law again. she hid her face from us when sh
slain girlfriend speak out for the first time. >>> pushing back. as pope benedict prepares to step down, the vatican lashes out over media reports and speculation on why he's retiring. and about some of those who might replace him. >>> and, shaking it up. on how a song makes it to the top of the charts. some say it's about time. >>> good evening. we begin with a developing story from daytona beach, florida, where late this afternoon a race car smashed into the fence and sent debris flying into the grandstands. it happened on the eve of the daytona 500 on the final lap of a nationwide series race. at least a dozen people were injured. nbc's janet shamlian is in daytona with the latest. janet, good evening. >> reporter: lester good evening to you. yes, this was a jaw-dropping crash and it happened right
benedict's last audience. he addressed the crowd from the window at the vad can. this will the last sunday from him. look at that crowd. >>> and people at st. francis church in the city had mixed reactions to the pope's resignation today. >> i think they would pick a younger, a younger candidate to take over so he can serve for a much longer time than this one did. >> i've given it soumsome thought, i just think, these are changing times. i just think we have to accept change. >> you know, i'm sorry to hear that the pope is leading. he was a great pope. i'm looking forward to the new pope. i pray for the new pope and the old pope. >> the church cardinals will gather in march to choose the next pope. >>> people who live in newtown, connecticut, are working to archive the tens of thousands of letters and cards of condolence sent. town leaders say about 175,000 pieces of mail came flooding in after 20 children and 6 educa r educators were killed at sandy hook elementary school. archive volunteers hope to put images of the mail online. handwritten notes. organizers say going through the cards
that benedict stepping down will set a modern precedent for future pontiffs? >> well there is concern about that, richard. but i think it's important to recognize that no precedent in the sense of something that has to be followed has been set. something new has been done. this hasn't happened in a very long time. and it's going to take a while to sort out what the impacts of this are on the future of this office of the papacy. >> thank you so much for are your perspective there this morning. >> time is running out for $85 billion in across the board spending cuts. john boehner got testy pointing the finger at the senate. >> we have moved the bill in the house twice. we should not have to move a third bill before the senate gets off their ass and begins to do something. >> republicans have been further angered this week by the supervised release of hundreds of undocumented imgrants awaiting deportation. a highly unusual effort to save money. so what do americans think about the sequester as a means of fixing the budget. according to a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll a 52% majority think
] >>> quite a scene at the vatican. tens of thousands of people filled the square today for pope benedict xvi last public appearance. he asked the faithful to pray for him and the cardinals that will choose his successor. when he stepped down tomorrow, he will be the first to do so in hundreds of years. >>> gun control heats up on capital bill. there was an assault weapons ban discussed today and a father whose son was killed in the newtown massacre. >> people say the overall number of deaths is relative small, but don't tell that to the people of columbine, or newtown. >> the december shooting left 20 children dead, and six educators debt. the senate judiciary committee headed by dianne feinstein could vote as soon as tomorrow. >>> the politics of pot, more than half of cal voters support it being sod and taxed like alcohol. 54% of the voters say yes to legalizing marijuana. we'll see if this poll translates into votes next year. promarijuana activist want to put the legalization issue on the ballot. >> parents are rallying in support of a fired gymnastic's teacher. she said she enforced a p
and internet. rethink possible. >>> in just three days pope benedict xvi will formally resign and as he prepares to step assign 11 u.s. cardinals are preparing to vote for a new pope, among them a former san franciscoian cardinal. another representative who will be attend that go conclave. kris sanchez has more. >> reporter: at 13 tim says he was raped and abused by his parish priest. as cardinals head to rome to select the next pope, he does not want retired cardinal roger mahoney to be among them because of his role in shielding pedophile priests. >> those kind of officials, no matter what institution, should not be part of the process of any decision of the hierarchy. >> reporter: but cardinal mahoney of los angeles has said he would not recuse himself from the conclave and he has the support of former san francisco archbishop laveda who departs for the conclave himself tomorrow. >> he is the first one to have said and apologized for the error in judgment he made as a young bishop 0. >> reporter: saturday cardinal mahoney was deposed in a lawsuit out of l.a. alleging he helped cover
? >> all right, al. thank you. >>> now to rome and pope benedict's final days as leader of the catholic church. moments ago the vatican announced new details about the pope's life after he steps down. let's get to nbc's anne thompson at the vatican this morning. anne, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, savannah. we now know what pope benedict will be called once he retires. if you run into him, you address him as his holiness, pope benedict xvi, or roman pontiff emeritus. he won't wear the white cape you've seen him wear as pope. and then those shoes that he's so very fond of, well, they go. he will have to switch to brown shoes. we understand he'll wear a pair he was given on a trip to mexico. all of those details are coming out as the world gets a glimpse of the sometimes ugly gamesmanship that goes on in this beautiful setting. cardinal keith o'brien, briton's highest ranking catholic and its only vote in the upcoming papal conclave is staying away, accused of improper behavior with four young priests going back to the 1980s, detailed in a british newspaper sunday that o
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